* This article originally appeared on the Annenberg TV News website *
The winners were chosen from all submissions in California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Neon Tommy editor-in-chief Catherine Green said the awards are a testiment to the work ethic and talent of USC journalists.
"We're thrilled to be recognized along with two other top-notch Annenberg outlets," Green said. "These seven awards among us just go to show that diligent reporting is alive and well in USC's young, enterprising journalists."
Paige Brettingen, Managing Editor of Neon Tommy, expressed her pride and excitement upon winning the award.
"I'm so excited by the news and so honored to be part of such an extraordinary team with Neon Tommy and proud of the countless hard work every reporter there has shown," Brettingen said.
The awards will be presented during the Region 11 Spring Conference April 12-13 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"The honors reinforce our desire to provide meaningful stories to this region and help will inspire the next generation of Neon Tommy staff," said Paresh Dave, Executive Director of Neon Tommy.
The first place entry in each category will advance to the national level. All winners will be featured on spj.org.
Mark of Excellence awards are presented annually by the Society of Professional Journalists. The awards offer categories for print, radio, television and online collegiate journalism. The entries are judged based on overall excellence in various criteria including the report's creativity, accuracy and clarity.
Students won awards in the following categories:
Television General News Reporting
Online In-Depth Reporting (Large)
Online News Reporting (Large)
Online Opinion & Commentary (Large)
Online Sports Reporting (Large)
Jonathan Kendrick (Neon Tommy) for How High School Eligibility Rules Spiked Todd Hunt's Football Dreams
Best Independent Online Student Publication (Large)
Staff (Neon Tommy) for NeonTommy.com